India to purchase ‘Excalibur’ from the United States

New Delhi: The Indian defence forces have initiated rapid steps to increase their preparedness, against the background of the increasing tension on the Indo-Chinese border. A few days ago, Defence Minister Raj Nath Singh convened a special meeting of chiefs of the three defence forces, along with the Defence Chief, of the country. During this meeting, the defence forces were awarded complete freedom to take any necessary action on the Chinese border. At the same time, the defence forces were also permitted to acquire additional weapons to enhance defence capabilities. Thereafter, the Indian Army decided to purchase ‘Excalibur 155mm Precision Guided Munition’ from the United States.  

This has been revealed from the information received from the sources in the defence forces. Last year, given the heightened tension on the Pakistan border, the Indian Army had been awarded Emergency Financial Powers to buy weaponry on an urgent basis. Using these powers, the Army had purchased ‘Excalibur 155mm Precision Guided Munition’ from the United States. These had been used effectively to destroy Pakistan military posts, bunkers and terrorist bases.  

Against this background, the decision to purchase ‘Excalibur 155mm Precision Guided Munition’ again, from the United States, for preparedness on the Chinese border, becomes important. The Excalibur which can be fired from any Howitzer, including Bofors, has a strike range of 50 kilometres.  Excalibur is effective and hits the target with precision, as it is guided with satellite positioning data. The United States had effectively used it in the counter-terrorism campaigns in Afghanistan.  

In the last few days, Indian Army has increased its deployment on the China border. Deployment of ‘Mountain Brigade’, the special unit of the Indian Army, trained explicitly for mountain warfare, has started in the border region. Along with this, fighter jets, helicopters and air defence systems, with surface to air- strike capabilities, have been deployed on the Chinese border. Along with this deployment, the purchase of Excalibur from the United States and the complete authority delegation to the Indian Army, indicate that China will face a decisive retaliation against any aggression against India. 

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